HDC Behaviour,  run by experienced animal behaviour consultant Susan Gammage, horses_3 provides a compassionate, scientific-based service to help owners who have problems with horse behaviour.

Horse Behaviour Problems

Horses can develop behavioural problems for many reasons. By understanding how horses live in the wild, we can see that the different ways we keep our horses can impact on their behaviour.horses_1

From an understanding of how horses learn we can see how various training methods can change the way a horse behaves. With this understanding we can then choose the best method to use with our horses.

Horse behaviour problems include bucking, rearing, pacing, spooking, napping, difficulty loading pick up feet, fear of tack, problems leading, catching, aggression, biting, separation anxiety, fearfulness, reluctance to jump, or even just help settling an horse in to a new yard.

Contact us to discuss your horse’s behavioural problem, and a positive way forward for you and your horse.


Horse Behaviour Consultation
Once you have contacted us to discuss your horse’s behaviour, we will obtain a veterinary referral.

  • We will visit your horse at the yard where they are kept.
  • Initial consultations last for between one and two hours.
  • For safety reasons we do not require a display of the behavioural problem.
  • Your horse needs to be in safe environment for the consultation.
  • The known history of the horse, the horses daily routine, and a description of the behaviour plus events surrounding the problem will be taken to provide a prognosis.
  • An individual behavioural programme is agreed upon between the behaviourist and the client for a way forward to solving the problem.

Details of the behaviour modification programmes will be sent to the referring vet.

Consultation Rates

Initial Consultation: £95
Follow-up Consultations: £65
Travel: 40p per mile from TN7 4EA

Full behaviour report, on request £50

Testimonials will appear here soon …

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Susan Gammage Equine Behaviourist shared Justine Harrison - Equine Behaviourist's post. ...

DROP THE TIGHT NOSEBAND Are nosebands too readily used as a schooling shortcut? For #TBT I wanted to share this post again as last weekend I saw Dr Orla Doherty present an update on her research looking at how the use of a tight noseband affects the horse. The results are truly shocking – many nosebands are fastened tighter than the recommended level of pressure for a human tourniquet and are likely to be damaging facial tissue. The pressure also causes the teeth to cut into the inside of the cheek (ask your equine dentist to check this if you use a noseband, even if it is fastened with two fingers space!). Of course we already know that some horses have disfigured faces from the regular use of a tight noseband and that this comes from 'mini' fractures in the bones of the face that cause bony growths when they heal. At minimum you should be able to fit two fingers easily underneath the noseband at the front of the horses face – on the nasal bone – not at the side where the tissue is soft. Using a tight noseband to mask oral avoidance behaviours is not just the practice of novice or amateur riders. Many professional riders – including some very high profile and Olympic team members – also do this and they are not being marked down or pulled up on this when competing. This practice is something the FEI and other equestrian organisations are doing nothing about. If you see this at a competition, please do approach a steward or official and raise your concerns. If the equestrian organisations are doing very little about this we need to speak up and at least make clear we can see what is happening... My original post: "It has become common practice for many owners to use crank, drop, grakle, Mexican or flash nosebands to close their horse’s mouth, so much so, that it is difficult to find a bridle with a normal cavesson noseband in tack shops – bridles now seem to come with a flash noseband as standard. A horse with a specific training issue, such as opening his mouth or putting his tongue over the bit, has a problem with what is being asked of him or is trying to avoid pain. If the horse is performing the behaviour to avoid pain or discomfort from the bit, then using a noseband that tightens around the mouth will prevent him from opening his mouth and mask the symptom, rather than address the cause." The quote above is taken from a thought provoking article looking at the overuse of nosebands written by Nicky Moffatt of Horse magazine. The article includes information about Dr Doherty's research. I have commented for this article, so Horse have very kindly agreed for it to be shared – thank you! Well worth a read. The article is here: You can find out more about what is in the latest issue of Horse magazine here